Being an Adult is no fun at all. One is responsible for too many things, there are much worse things than a D in maths, there are much more obligations than pleasures and if something goes wrong you will be at charge and there is no chance at all to point out on your little sister. Far away are the days where the summer holidays where an endless period of time and the biggest secret meant reading at night under your blanket. The only two things which are truly better, you are not to forced anymore to eat spinach when you want to have cake and no one sends you to bed anymore, the third thing truly is this wonderful project where all the memories wanted or unwanted are coming back.
In textbooks people always dream of utterly important things. If for example you open a book from the nineteenth century, a time where people did not speak of „such things“, they dream to a great extent „of such things“. Today of course, things changed, everyone speaks „of such things“ and nobody dreams of them anymore. Probably most people dream of office life. I suppose there exists a carefully developed vocabulary, where things which, on the first sight have nothing to do with jobs, mean something, and if your dreams are full of file numbers or telephone conferences, don’t worry too much, they probably mean the same thing as shell’s or umbrella’s meant in the old days. And so we lay in our beds, the cushions are comfortable, the books on the bedside table attest culture and refined taste, but nevertheless you feel a sense of anxiety and maybe it is the same rarely elusive feeling Theodor W. Adorno have had while sleeping between Europe and his exile in Los Angeles, where he decided to keep a record of his dreams. It is a rarely deformed world you enter via his Dream Notes. It still has a sense of opening a forbidden door and behind this door a world is shown which has nothing to do with my own world, which is already far, far away from the dream world of the nineteenth century and where we, coming through a backdoor catch a glimpse of the the twentieth century, deep at night.
Theodor W. Adorno, Dream Notes, Malden 2007, p. 128.
Ian Balfour reviews Adorno’s Non-Waking life here
Oh, come on. You can’t already have done all the shopping. Friend C. for example, for her you never know what to buy ,or think of friend T. who became so rich, that he can’t drink anything else than champagne anymore. And what about your brother? Not another DVD he will never watch. And no, not another silk scarf for your Beloved Ones, not this year. Get something else. Buy the new number of DUST ( the old ones are great, too! ) It’s inspiring, full of „Oh!“ and „Never thought it this way!“, beautiful designed, carefully elaborated, full of laughter and moments of surprise, that even your good, old friend T. will be impressed in a way you will never forget.
Norbert Elias, „Introductions“ in: Tales of Black and White Men and other tales from Akwapian, typescript 4, Deutsches Literaturachiv Marbach, p.4.